Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable, precise and verifiable source for any quote on this list please move it to Walter Bagehot. --Antiquary 17:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
- A Parliament is nothing less than a big meeting of more or less idle people.
- A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as such, it rivets mankind.
- A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself.
- A severe though not unfriendly critic of our institutions said that the cure for admiring the House of Lords was to go and look at it.
- A slight daily unconscious luxury is hardly ever wanting to the dwellers in civilization; like the gentle air of a genial climate, it is a perpetual minute enjoyment.
- All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape. [Multiple attributions, but most commonly (according to Google) attributed to A.C. Benson]
- An ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.
- An element of exaggeration clings to the popular judgment: great vices are made greater, great virtues greater also; interesting incidents are made more interesting, softer legends more soft.
- An influential member of parliament has not only to pay much money to become such, and to give time and labour, he has also to sacrifice his mind too - at least all the characteristics part of it that which is original and most his own.
- Conquest is the missionary of valor, and the hard impact of military virtues beats meanness out of the world.
- Dullness in matters of government is a good sign, and not a bad one - in particular, dullness in parliamentary government is a test of its excellence, an indication of its success.
- History is strewn with the wrecks of nations which have gained a little progressiveness at the cost of a great deal of hard manliness, and have thus prepared themselves for destruction as soon as the movements of the world gave a chance for it.
- In every particular state of the world, those nations which are strongest tend to prevail over the others; and in certain marked peculiarities the strongest tend to be the best.
- It is often said that men are ruled by their imaginations; but it would be truer to say they are governed by the weakness of their imaginations.
- Men who do not make advances to women are apt to become victims to women who make advances to them.
- Much has been written about panics and manias, much more than with the most outstretched intellect we are able to follow or conceive; but one thing is certain, that at particular times a great deal of stupid people have a great deal of stupid money. [This is from Bagehot's Literary Studies: Edward Gibbon]. See http://books.google.com/books?id=V6JYAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=bagehot+%22stupid+money%22+%22stupid+people%22&source=bl&ots=frZRe78tRd&sig=OGBZf1OC65JrJcmlXU4KKg6i4GM&hl=en&ei=52ykTs6TAoq6tgfyw6iWBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCEQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false
- No real English gentleman, in his secret soul, was ever sorry for the death of a political economist.
- Open-mindedness should not be fostered because, as Scripture teaches, Truth is great and will prevail, nor because, as Milton suggests, Truth will always win in a free and open encounter. It should be fostered for its own sake.
- Poverty is an anomaly to rich people; it is very difficult to make out why people who want dinner do not ring the bell.
- So long as war is the main business of nations, temporary despotism - despotism during the campaign - is indispensable.
- The being without an opinion is so painful to human nature that most people will leap to a hasty opinion rather than undergo it.
- The best reason why Monarchy is a strong government is, that it is an intelligible government. The mass of mankind understand it, and they hardly anywhere in the world understand any other.
- The greatest mistake is trying to be more agreeable than you can be.
- The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
- The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency.
- The most intellectual of men are moved quite as much by the circumstances which they are used to as by their own will. The active voluntary part of a man is very small, and if it were not economized by a sleepy kind of habit, its results would be null.
- The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.
- We must not let daylight in upon the magic.
- What impresses men is not mind, but the result of mind.
- Woman absent is woman dead.
- Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders.
- "If you have to prove you are worthy of credit, your credit is already gone."
- The fall of Bear Stearns: Bearing all, The Economist